Friday, 25th February, 2022

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Friday, 25th February, 2022


[MADAM SPEAKER, in the Chair]


The House met at 0900 hours









The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I rise to give the House an indication of the Business it will consider next week.


Madam Speaker, on Tuesday, 1st March, 2022, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022, the Business of the House will start with consideration of Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 3rd March, 2022, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Madam Speaker, on Friday, 4th March, 2022, the Business of the House will commence with The Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by other questions. The House will then consider presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


I thank you, Madam.






Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, the people of Zambia are concerned. It has been six months since the New Dawn took over Government, but there seems to be no clear direction as regards key sectors of the economy. What we have been treated to are inconsistent policy statements that many a time require clarifications and retractions, in many cases, to a point where we even have directors of special duties in charge of clarifications and retractions. Ministerial statements, many a time, have to be triggered by my hon. Colleagues on the left through Standing Order No. 134. There is no pro-activity from the hon. Ministers to give ministerial statements and policy direction.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Hakainde Hichilema, recently came out and said he has been let down by his hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries (PSs). These are my hon. Colleagues on the right; they have let down the President. The PSs have also let down the President. They come to the House exuding confidence, but the employer and the appointing authority is disappointed with these hon. Colleagues. We are equally disappointed with them. We are happy that the President now knows what we have always known about these hon. Colleagues of ours.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mundubile: How soon do we expect to see some semblance of direction where the people of Zambia can begin to see that the economy is going in some direction, at least, because so far the people of Zambia and the President, the employer and appointing authority, remain very disappointed with the performance?


Madam Speaker: That question took two and a quarter minutes.


The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, the hon. Member, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the House, zeroed in on the economy. He said that he needs to know the direction of the economy. Generally, I would say his statement is confusing. The preliminary to the question is very confusing because it meandered. The hon. Member talked of directors of special duties who I do not even know.


Hon. PF Members: Kawana!


The Vice-President: I know that we have Permanent Secretaries (PSs) for special duties. Now I have heard of directors.


Mr Kapyanga: Thabo Kawana!


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


Hon. Member for Mpika, please, can we have some order?


May Her Honour the Vice-President proceed.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member talked of the President saying he has been let down. I have not really heard that from the President. It would have been good for the hon. Member to lay, as evidence, that speech from the President on the Table. However, the hon. Member should be helping this nation by saying that the economy is going in the right direction.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I am equally disappointed with the hon. Member’s statement because this House heard, firsthand, the economic direction through the policy statement on the economy by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: The hon. Member did not get anything as he has indicated to me. Nothing. Yet he debated the entire Budget with us on something he did not understand.


Madam Speaker, even a villager like myself knows that the economy is doing well. It is doing well. My hon. Minister is here. From the little I know, I know that even the inflation rate is going down.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Yes. Inflation has figures and you need to look at that. Hon. Minister, is that true? The inflation rate is going down. The prices may seemingly be going up because of certain turbulence. This is the reality: the inflation rate is going down. The inflation rate, as people record, is an indicator of the performance of any economy.


Madam Speaker, I still remember saying while sitting here that in order to get to town, you have to pass through Northmead. There are issues that we are still looking at. People may complain, but we know that indeed, this economy is moving. The issue of electricity may make people feel like ‘what is going on’. However, we have spoken in this House that everything will stabilise. Right now, there is money going into the economy even though we inherited coffers with nothing but a lot debt. That is the reality. I think ‘nothing’ is understood to mean ‘not enough to cater for the needs of the people of Zambia’.


Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member wanted to do a little politics in his statement. It is clear that our policies are clear. The performance of the economy is quite clear. Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, keep it up. The economy is moving in the right direction.


I thank you Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, indeed, all indicators show that the economy is now on the mend. We are coming from a situation where the economy was wrecked because of our hon. Colleagues who were in charge of affairs in the previous regime.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear.


Mr Kambita: Madam Speaker, coming from that background, I am particularly interested in a situation that was perpetuated by our hon. Colleagues on the left hand side. We had a situation where the patriotic front (PF) had the appetite of misusing parastatal institutions. A case in point is the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). These institutions, through the boards that the PF appointed, were commanded to procure certain assets which were used by the PF in the political world. Assets like vehicles were bought and used by the PF in the political dispensation. Many other parastatals were affected by such acts.


Madam Speaker, how much progress have we made towards recovery of these assets which were abused by these men on the left hand side? I am asking this question categorically because we want to see active cases in court. These acts were perpetuated by individuals who are even seated here comfortably. May I know how much progress the Government has made towards making sure that we clamp down on those who were responsible for misusing Government resources?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Zambezi East premised his question what he called the former ruling party procuring assets and using them in a political manner. It is a very sad situation if that be true. I am using “if” because there is need for evidence. However, the evidence also shows that there are some cases in the courts of law which I cannot start tabulating. Otherwise, I will be cited for – it will be sub judice. Therefore, I will just say that as at now, there are cases even before the courts where financial crimes are still being looked at through the investigative wings. There are a number of people who are already appearing in court for possessing things that they were not supposed to possess.


Madam Speaker, I know that many people, even some hon. Colleagues, are turning this issue that the hon. Member has brought out on behalf of Zambians, into persecution. When there is prosecution, that is a normal thing. So, there is prosecution going on against those who have offended the law. However, persecution is not part of who we are. We want to do things in order. There are cases in court. A lot of work has been done, hon. Member. There are recoveries. We are aware that some money, cash itself, has been recovered from people who are either Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) or direct politicians. That is extremely unfortunate. Some cases are before the courts, while others are under investigation, and we will go on with them. That is how far the Government has gone. It is serious on recovering and ensuring that those who were on the wrong side of the law are prosecuted and not persecuted.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, the just ended by-election in Kabwata was punctuated by serious political violence, especially a few days before the election day. We should not allow that as leaders in this country. This should come to an end. The people of Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency and the nation at large want to know how much the Republic of Zambia, through the electoral body, that is, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), spent on election materials especially ballot papers which were destroyed for the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election. Also, what should Zambia do to avoid such wastage of resources if electoral reforms are not a solution?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member talked of serious political violence in the Kabwata by-election. I am surprised. Maybe the hon. Member had stepped out of the country for the last ten years.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member must have listened to one of the members of the Patriotic Front (PF). I will not mention his name, but he is a leader in the party. I saw him with my eyes when he said on media that he was happy with the level of peace in the Kabwata by-election. Yes, there may have been violence here and there, but looking at the background, where we have come from, that level of peace was unprecedented.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: So, I am wondering where the hon. Member got that information that there was a lot of violence. This Government of Hakainde Hichilema abhors violence, and this is why we have told our cadres never to go that way. This is because we know that a lot of violence stems from cadres who were let loose by those who had the authority: those who were in Government. However, today, the hon. Member for Bwacha can be assured that it will get more and more peaceful during the time of Hakainde Hichilema in office.


Madam Speaker, the issue of how much was spent on the by-elections by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). I would admit here that I can come back another time with figures. As at now I do not have the figures. He goes on to say what must be done to avoid by-elections?  The President of the Republican of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema is very clear and on record including sitting here addressing this House, that he is not interested in by-elections, particularly because they rob Zambians of the much need developmental resources. This is what he feels therefore what must we do Madam Speaker? This remains to the law and we are sitting here as law makers.


Madam Speaker, Starting with the constitution, what should we do? This is an opportunity to put in a provision that removes by-elections so that when such a tragedy for example, happens like what happened.  We can know how to replace that member without necessarily going into a by-election. There are many electoral systems that we can borrow and use. We can give a hybrid but let us work on that. It is our duty in this Parliament, that when the Government brings a bill to look at provisions like the first- past-the-post electoral system and we propose another, we will do it with consultation with them. It is my prayer that people will support that so the Government does not lose money in by-elections.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, the world is on the verge of a third world war. Russia has attacked Ukraine because of it being supported by the United States of America (USA) and other western countries. What is our foreign policy today? Are we supporting Russia or we are supporting Ukraine and the group that is backing them? In Bemba they say “Chula afwile intangalala”. In decision –


Madam Speaker: order!


Mr Sampa: Madam, am sure the Vice-President knows that saying very well. Indecision or being undecided over a position, one will end up with one leg on the right and the other on the left and he/she gets split in-between like the proverbial frog. If we take a position Madam Speaker, are we seeing us one day sending youths to back up the side that we will send and if we will support and if so can we, as MPs, start mobilizing the youths to be on standby, of course not the ones from the east.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, at last you said something that people of Matero are happy for one reason or the other. Thank you very much for that greeting. Hon. Member what is our foreign policy on what? On war! You have said “Chula afwile intangalala. That we are indecisive and that we have to decide which side we want to be on. I think this question is unfair to you honorable to the Zambian people. We are in a global world and there is no way, as Zambia, we are going to decide which side to support alone that we send your son to war.


Madam Speaker, the world does not work like this. Right now, there are even neighbours of Ukraine and Russia working collectively. They are making decisions collectively, and therefore Zambia is part of international groupings. If any decision has to be made it can only be made as a grouping. I am sure there is engagement in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Everybody in the African Union (AU) is observing and if there will be anything to be done, it has to be collectively. Not Zambia today to say we declare we are on the side of Ukraine or we are on the side of Russia. No! That is not the way countries operate today.


Madam, I take this opportunity to say Zambia is concerned with the safety of the same youths who are in those places of conflict Ukraine and Russia. We are concerned. When we are trying to evacuate, the hon. Member wants us to send some youths there. We are working. The President, as at yesterday, gave a directive that the Zambians in Ukraine who came to –


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members can we have some silence, otherwise we will not be able to hear the answers, proceed.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I was saying that the President gave a directive yesterday, that the Zambians who are in Ukraine should be evacuated back to Zambia. They total to about 141 known ones. There could be others that are not known. I thought the concerns would be on how safe our people are and what the Government is doing, rather than us sending youths to either side. That is not the way. We are working on that and we know the situation is tense in Ukraine, but we are all that we can. The people who are there they are also trying to bring themselves together and get out and not to be caught by cross fire. That is what I would say.


Madam Speaker, thank you.


Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East): Madam Speaker, if you go around the country now you find a lot of posters of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIMA) all over, but when one is sick, even when you just go to Coptic Hospital here for a simple disease diagnosis and prognosis, you find that you be enlisted checked here and there under NHIMA. The bill will come here to Parliament and charges will be made. Now out there, one wonders what the role of this so called NHIMA is because people are sick, they go to the clinics but there are no drugs. Maybe we still have those people who were hiding drugs. What is your assurance on health matters for the people who are under NHIMA and every day, every month, there are deductions going on but no provisions of health service?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Solwezi for being concerned about health, particularly on drugs. On NHIMA, I know that there is membership and there those that are automatically there. I think at my age, it should be free on NHIMA, the national insurance for the old, the young and those that are contributing. It is unfortunate that the hon. Member says that there is no medicine. The Government must just work out and see what it can do about it. We know that Ministry of Health has had challenges but it is important that we work on that. I cannot stand here and defend what he has brought out that there is no medicine. It is my prayer that medicine must be procured for all Zambians, if it is not there. I will give an example where I found NHIMA: I went to one hospital where they said the resources that they were using were from NHIMA. So NHIMA is working, maybe not effectively and that is what we should work on through the Ministry of Health.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, I would like to inform Her Honour the Vice-President that Tembwe Chiefdom, particularly Tembwe Centre, has completely been engulfed in floods and people are running up and down while others are in mongo trees, as we speak. My question to Her Honour the Vice-President is on the increase in terms of prices to do with all services and commodities especially fuel, Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) fees and many other fees while the salaries of our civil servants including hon. Members of Parliament and many other public service workers have remained stagnant. Before Her Honour the Vice-President’s Government was elected, the United Party for National Development (UPND) President showed this country how he will quickly reduce the price of fuel. There are even videos showing the calculations on how the reduction will be done. However, what we have witnessed is that the prices are actually increasing. We are waiting for an increment in the energy sector where ZESCO Limited is also proposing increasing prices which will cripple the purchasing power of our people. Has the Government made a u-turn on all the promises that were made in terms of reducing the cost living for the people of Zambia? If the answer is yes, how should we, the people Zambia, look at the Government?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South for the concern on what he thinks are prices going up. Yes, I know fuel went up but power has not gone up. I think there is still a discussion between ZESCO Limited and the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). Therefore, you cannot go to court because you think somebody is going to do something. I think that is the way we think. I think he is going to do this. That is a conversation within and it is a proposal people will look at.


Madam Speaker, when he says everything is going up, it is like the Government does not care. The hon. Member must right now remember that he probably has more money in his pocket than he had last year this time…


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: …because –


Mr Kapyanga: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.




Madam Speaker: Can you stop the clock.


The Clock was stopped.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, this is a very important session which I believe all hon. Members look forward to. So, we should not turn it into a ‘circus’, for lack of a better word. Interjecting while Her Honour the Vice-President is answering the question is bad. How will the question be heard if you are not listening? Hon. Members, let us maintain some dignity and discipline on the Floor of the House.


May Her Honour the Vice-President continue with her response.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I said the hon. Member for Chama South probably has more money in his pocket this time of the year than he had last year because this Government is spending on the people. Think of free education, Madam. That free education has freed an income in households. That is what it interprets into because parents are not spending on the education of their children yet the Government is spending on the children. We should appreciate that. Education is the future. Yesterday, here, we did mention that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is releasing money soon towards disasters, all that is to help people. I do not know what the hon. Member means when he says salaries are stagnant because I thought the unions had negotiated with the Government, and they have been given an increase.


Hon. Government Members: Yes.


The Vice-President: I should believe that he also got a little increase. So, what is being static? I may not fully understand what he means by salaries have been static. The workers in the Government have been given a salary increase this year.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, let me thank the Government for banning the importation of onion. I am sure the onion farmers are smiling and very happy about the decision made by the Government. The dairy farmers have a situation right now which is serious and needs urgent attention. Milk from our dairy farmers is not being collected from the milk collection centres because milk processors have continued importing powdered milk to reconstitute milk at the expense of the local dairy farmers. Right now, we have an example in Monze where farmers are not able to supply about 5,000. The processors only get about 2,000. What is the Government doing to help the dairy farmers to stop processors continuing with the importation of powdered milk so that we can grow the dairy sector in the country? Right now, the dairy sector is collapsing and if we are not going to help the dairy farmers, it will be worse. What is the take of Her Honour the Vice-President on that? 


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Bweengwa for his question. To start with, he is acknowledging that the banning of the importation of onion and, I think, Irish potatoes, is a good move. Yes, it is a good move but we must always remember that we must be able to satisfy the market locally then it becomes important to do this. I am sure a research has been done and it has been found that we have enough onion and we can grow enough. This could be the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry would probably be helpful, this could be a stopgap measure depending on what comes out whether it is continuous or we may open up if we run short of onions.


The issue of the importation of powdered milk is disadvantaging Zambians in the diary industry, Madam Speaker, we will look at that and see also whether truly the diary industry in the country can satisfy the local market then the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry working with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will see whether that is necessary. It may look so much and yet when it is brought together it may not be enough. So, we need to understand why the dairy farmers are not able to sell their produce. If this is because of the imports, I think the hon. Ministers are listening and we will be able to look at that.


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to pose a question to Her Honour the Vice-President and indeed, I want to acknowledge that the by-elections in Kabwata were generally peaceful until…


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: …the polling day when my colleague here (pointing at Mr Mundubile), the Leader of the Opposition in the House and myself almost lost lives in Kamulanga, …


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Mr Kampyongo: … after being attacked by unruly cadres. So, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, Your Honour the Vice-President.


Madam Speaker, the Communication Strategy of the Government is very important. The policy pronouncements of the Government are communicated through an established channel. A Cabinet Minister who sits in Cabinet is given the responsibility to communicate the Government programmes and policies with the nation. We have been treated to some sort of circus or maybe what I would call organised confusion.


Madam Speaker, as to who the official Government spokesperson is between the Cabinet Minister and one director who has been all of over justifying and clarifying matters of policy which is shocking the nation.


Madam Speaker, can we get a clarification from the Her Honour the Vice-President, the Leader of Government Business in the House, who the actual official Government spokesperson is before Zambians are treated to more confusion.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu for the question and comments that he started with. The hon. Member admitted that by-election in Kabwata was generally peaceful. He only lamented that he almost lost his life together with the Leader of the Opposition in House.




The Vice President: Madam Speaker, we thank God that they did not lose their lives because we need them here. However, it is sad to note that lives were lost before, which must never repeat itself. One life is one too many for the people of Zambian. So we are grateful. Let us continue to improve and keep the peace during by-elections. That is encouraging to hear from the hon. Member that there was peace. Unprecedented peace, I should say.


Madam Speaker, the hon. member wants to know who gives the policy direction. Firstly, I agree that it is the minister. Generally, it is the minister that should give policy direction. I will not answer on the allegation that there is one person who is also giving policy statements. I am not aware. I may need and when he says that, it will be very helpful to bring some evidence so that we can all learn and say truly we need to sit up because we know who should give policy guidance and statements. I agree it is a minister. So, if there is that evidence, the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu can even come to my office we sit and I learn so that we can find the solution to that.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, two months of the New Dawn Government’s budget operating, Her Honour the Vice-President has just said that schools are now free, among other things. May I know if at all the Ministry of Finance and National Planning through the Treasury has released moneys for the retirees in this New Dawn Government led by the President, his Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema.


The Vice-President: Ema questions aya. Those are the very good questions.




The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, yes, agreeing with his observations that schools are now free, I will not spend a lot of time on this subject. This is why I said that we are the people who should be educating others as to what is happening in our economy and social life. This is because it is true. Again, in six months the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has released money to retirees, some of whom have been on the waiting list for twenty years.


Madam Speaker, money has been released within two months after the first budget of this Administration under President Hakainde Hichilema. There are many things that are happening, colleagues. Let us admit where something good is happening. Yes, money has been released already and we are still going on to resolve many other issues. A lot has been achieved under this Administration which we must take note of.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, at the moment, Mkushi Constituency does not have a representative. I must declare interest because I am married from that side. In Mkushi there is a place called Kafwa. There is a foreign miner there who has decided to set up a wash centre which is taking poison into the main stream which people drink from and it goes to join the main river in Mkushi.


Madam Speaker, is the Government not aware that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) had allowed this foreign miner, who is mining manganese, to set up the wash centre on the main stream and that is going to contaminate the entire Mkushi?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member, my daughter married in Mkushi, for that concern about the people of Kafwa generally, Mkushi. I will state that yes, the Government is aware. As to whether Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) is aware and has allowed it is an issue, ZEMA is aware, but has not allowed what is happening. I am told that they will soon be going there to assess and to be able to come up with a report that will help the Government to make a decision very soon. So, I thank the hon. Member for bringing the issue to the House.


Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, my question concerns an issue that came up on the Floor early this week and Her Honour the Vice-President gave some response regarding the teachers that were recruited at various intervals. I can say in the last six months, one year or one and half years. The issue is that these teachers were recruited and their documentation has been verified.    


They have genuine appointment letters and they have been reporting to their provincial centres and have even been allocated schools in various places across the country. However, they have been waiting to be put on the payroll, but up to now, nothing has happened. Others have been trying to use their meager resources to stay in places where they have been posted, just to show their warm bodies that they are armed. Others, who cannot even afford to find accommodation where they have been posted, have gone back, probably to their parents or their guardians, waiting until they are put on the payroll and then they can assume their positions.


Madam, the answer Her Honour the Vice-President gave partially early this week, raised some more questions from such groups of people and they want to know. They have been going to the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and provincial offices. Some have even reached out to the Permanent Secretary, but they have not been given concrete answers as to when they should expect to be put on the payroll so that they can take-up their genuinely appointed positions.


Madam Speaker, what is Her Honour the Vice-President’s answer to these young men and women who are waiting to be put on the payroll because their papers have been verified that they have genuine appointments and just waiting to get their salaries after they render their services in the Teaching Service?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I think I assured them that they will be put on the payroll. Now, I am even told that out of the one thousand two hundred teachers, one thousand have already been put on the payroll. I gave a complication last time that there are some teachers who were posted and they have not gone to the places they were posted to, but have gone elsewhere. However, the assurance is that these people will surely be put on payroll with Treasury authority. That is what is going to happen, they were legally recruited, therefore, they are legally teachers and they will be put on the payroll.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.






Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, the people of Mufulira and I am sure the majority of the people on the Copperbelt are looking forward to know what is happening with the Mufulira/Ndola Road.




220. Mr Mwila: asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:


  1. when the construction of the Mufulira/Ndola road will be completed;
  2. what the cause of the delay in completing the project is;
  3. what the total cost of the project is;
  4. how much money had been paid to the contractor, as of September, 2021; and
  5. when the outstanding amount will be paid.



The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Madam Speaker, the construction of the Mufulira/Ndola Road will be completed once funds for the project have been secured.


Madam Speaker, the delay in the completion of the project has been due to funding challenges and the contract sum for the Mufulira/Ndola Road at the time of award on 5th July, 2016, was K701,794,400.00.


Madam Speaker, a total of K267,611,080.57, Value Added Tax (VAT) inclusive, had been paid to the contractor as of September, 2021.


Madam Speaker, the outstanding amounts on the contract will be paid as soon as funds are made available.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila: Madam Speaker, I am sure many people following this debate have other questions like those that I am thinking. The hon. Minister’s response of “when funds are made available” is what is raising many more questions. When will the funds be available and is the Government continuing with the contractor that is known to have been awarded to construct that road?


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order citing Standing Order No. 65(1)(b). This point of order could have ideally been raised during Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. However, as you know, we are not permitted to raise points of order in that segment. So, can I proceed, with your indulgence?


Madam Speaker: Proceed, hon. Member.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, we are a House of rules and we are supposed to follow these rules religiously. I reluctantly raise this point of order, being a member of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, which my hon. Colleague, Hon. Kambita, chairs. He raised a question with issues related to the Committee and the people that we interact with as a Committee. Ideally, matters that arise from the Committee work end up in this august House through reports. He made sweeping allegations that the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), which is one of the Parastatal institutions which has been appearing before our Committee, had procured motor vehicles on behalf of the Patriotic Front (PF), and he was trying to find out what is going to happen.


 Madam Speaker, Hon. Kambita is the Chairperson of this very important Committee, and if such allegations are true, the only place where those allegations can be brought is here through a report. Was he therefore in order to bring such matters which are not backed by any report to this Floor, taking advantage of his privileged position as the Chairperson of this very important committee, the Committee on Parastatal Bodies?


Madam Speaker, I seek your serious guidance because this can compromise the work that we do as delegated by yourself through the Committees.


Madam Speaker: To the extent that if the matter of procuring of the motor vehicles was being discussed in the Committee, then it was not supposed to be brought before this honourable House before the Committee Report is debated in the House. In that regard, if indeed that matter was discussed in the Committee, the hon. Member was out of order.


Hon. Members, we should desist from using information that we get from the Committees to come and ask questions on the Floor of the House before the reports are presented for debate.


I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Eng Milupi: Madam Speaker, let me provide a little bit of background information on the Ndola/Mufulira Road. The project was awarded to Inyatsi Roads Zambia Limited on 5th July, 2016. The initial contract had been scheduled for completion on 29th September, 2021. That is the answer to his question. However, the contract was allowed to expire due to funding challenges and ability to undertake the work as expected.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member and I have interacted over this important road. The hon. Minister for the province has also interacted with me. We are looking at various options to ensure that, ultimately, the Ndola/Mufulira Road is done to bituminous standards. The constraints at the moment are funds that are not available. When they ask me when funds will be available, they are tempting me to go into what is happening in the economy, but I do not think this is the right time for that.


We are also looking at other options like combining this road with other roads in the hope of making it attractive for PPP, but these are matters that are still under active discussion. We shall come to the House when those matters are ready to be announced.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr J. Chibuye: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, do you want to raise a point of order?


Mr J. Chibuye: Yes, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: On whom?


A point of order What is the point of order?


Mr J. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, I rise to raise a point of order on Standing Order No. 72. Last week, during a heavy downpour which the country had been experiencing, a truck laden with sulphur fell into the Kamfinsa Stream, posing great danger to both aqua life and human life that depends on the river downstream.


Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment in order to keep quiet and to not tell the nation what measures the Government is taking to ensure that we avert the disaster?


Madam Speaker, I need your guidance and your serious ruling.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, the point of order has been raised at the wrong point. You know the rules on how points of order are supposed to be raised. However, the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment is here. In view of the fact that what you have stated is about the environment and the risk that the chemical poses to members of the public, the hon. Minister can come back to give a ministerial statement on this issue.


Mr Mabeta (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, has the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development done an assessment to verify whether the K271 million spent on this road has really gone towards the works done on the road? As a resident of Mufulira, we have suffered a lot and I can confirm that no work has been done on this road. Where has the K271 million gone to?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the question raised by the hon. Member for Kankoyo is an important one. We are concerned about this contract. To make it clear, this is a contract that was awarded in 2016. All these things such as the award of the contract, the non-performance and the payment of the amount, which is actually K267 million, happened under the previous Government and we are concerned. Our view is that this contract must be terminated to allow for a proper award and proper work to be done. We have similar concerns on the Mufulira/Mokambo Road by the same contractor.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I know that the hon. Minister has been receiving a number of briefings on all the roads he has been touring, but I am specifically asking about the Mufulira/Ndola Road. As at 12th January 2021, there was a report that the road would be done through a public-private partnership (PPP) and the documentation was with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. I do not know whether his office has been given that briefing. If it has, since there was already progress being made, is there a timeline he can give us in terms of how the implementation of that PPP programme will be done?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, in my earlier response, I said that we are considering combining it with other roads. On its own, the Mufulira/Ndola Road will be very difficult to make viable under PPP. However, there are neighbouring roads that could be combined with that road that would then make it viable under PPP. If the report he is referring to singled out Ndola/Mufulira on its own under PPP, then it would be very difficult to undertake but, we are looking at other options. The hon. Member for Kantanshi, like his colleague, the hon. Member for Mufulira, are in constant communication with me on roads concerning their constituencies.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, this road could be the shortest way to get to Mufulira and Congo. We have seen the damage being caused by trucks that carry copper using the dual carriageway. Since the New Dawn Government is cleaning up, can it also clean up such contractors so that we can ease the damage on the Ndola/Kitwe highway? Can this Government kindly inform the nation and the people on the Copperbelt that they will give another contractor who can work on that road urgently so that we have the shortest possible way of getting to Mokambo?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, we are considering all that. In fact, within the same vicinity of the Ndola/Mufulira Road is the Ndola/Sakanya Road. On the other side of the border, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through upper Katanga, the province there, has done a road from Kasumbalesa to Sakanya. So, when we do the Ndola/Sakanya Road and complete what we are doing on the Mufulira/Mokambo Road, together with the Ndola/Mufulira Road, it will alleviate a lot of traffic from the Ndola/Kitwe Highway that the hon. Member is talking about.


Madam, in terms of damage, the issue on that one involves monitoring to ensure that there is no axel overloading. We are taking that into account. There will be weighbridges that we will be putting to ensure that we control axle loading.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kalimi (Malole): Who is the contractor on this road?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I stated in my first response that the contractor is Inyatsi.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I want to ride on the hon. Ministers response that his ministry is exploring other options of how these road works such as the Ndola/Mufulira road can be funded and indeed other township roads that the people of Kafue, for instance, would require.


Madam Speaker, I just want to get comfort from the hon. Minister as to what other options the Government is considering apart from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) so that as the New Dawn Government, we do a good job on the roads and not make it appear as though our colleagues, who used very unorthodox means to fund these roads did a better job than we are  going to do .


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, other options other than Public-Private Partnership (PPP), is using own funds. Own funds can only be viable or appropriate when fiscal space or headroom has been created to allow more funds to come. We have talked about what the Government is doing. We hope that some time, about mid-year or here after, the fiscal space will have been created. Other options regarding township roads, is where we have kind Governments granting us grants that can be considered. The last option is where we have corporate entities which are operating in a particular locality and if they feel that they can participate by undertaking a road, they can do that. That is also an option.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




221. Mr Kolala (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government is aware of the critical shortage of drugs in health facilities in Lufubu District; and 
  2. if so, what measures the Government is taking to ensure that the health facilities are supplied with adequate drugs.


The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, the Government is aware of the critical shortage of medicines and medical supplies not only in Lufubu District but in other health facilities across the country.


Madam Speaker, the Government has taken the following measures in order to ensure that health facilities across the country, including Lufubu District, are supplied with adequate medicines and medical supplies.


  1. The procurement of medicines and medical suppliers has been taken to Zambia Medicines and Medical Suppliers Agency (ZAMSA), from the Ministry Of Health Headquarters. A new board has been constituted and it is envisaged that the issues of the stock out will be a thing of the past as there will be timely procurements, high efficiency, accountability and transparency, hence, assurance for quality, value for money and timely delivery;
  2. The budgetary allocation for medicines and medical suppliers has been increased from K1.3 billion in 2021 to K3.4 billion in 2022;
  3. To date a total of K617 million has been released from the treasury for the emergency procurement of medicines and medical supplies;
  4. Direct bidding for health centre kits and other essential medicines and medical supplies to serve as stopgap measure for at least one year; 
  5. Long framework contracts are being engaged for at least three years after pre-qualification of suppliers and local manufactures who will meet the regulatory requirements; and
  6. We are encouraging the establishment of local industries for drug and vaccine manufacturing in line with the United Party for National Development (UPND) manifesto.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambita: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kambita: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to raise this point of order.


Madam Speaker, I quote Standing Order No. 65(1), which says:


 “(I) A member who is debating shall-


  1. confine his or debate to the subject under discussion; and
  2. ensure that the information he or she provides to the House is factual and verifiable.”


Madam Speaker, I am concerned that the House is almost degenerating into a situation where somebody will rise and speak out anything for the consumption of the public even when it is not factual.


Madam Speaker, when I stepped outside, I watched on television one hon. Member in this House rising on a point of order and misrepresenting facts. He said that the question that I asked in relation to mismanagement of institutions by the Patriotic Front (PF), where the PF acquired assets to support their own political endeavours, was related to a discussion in the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, which I chair.


Madam Speaker, unfortunately, that is misrepresentation of facts because that matter is not before the Committee on Parastatal Bodies. The Clerk can attest to this fact. Therefore, if this is not a subject of discussion in the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, which I chair, how then does it become a subject of contention in this House that I asked a question related to the abuse by the PF of acquiring public assets through parastatal institutions? These matters are in the public domain; in newspapers and everywhere.


Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Zambezi East, unfortunately, you cannot raise a point of order on another point of order. In my ruling, I had indicated that if indeed that issue was before the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, then it was not supposed to be brought before this House. So, it was conditional upon stating or verifying whether that issue was indeed before the Committee. So, there is no harm that has been suffered. If indeed it is not before the Committee, then you were not out of order.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, as we are discussing the shortage of drugs in Lufubu District, the hon. Minister of Health should take note that this is not only in Lufubu, but in many districts, including mine. So, I want to find out from the hon. Minister of Health if at all the hon. Minister has a policy or mechanism to monitor distribution of drugs in time to these districts. The other issue is that we have seen situations whereby drugs are distributed late and since they have a short shelf life, these drugs expire as they reach the districts.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the follow-up question. I want to state that currently there has been some effort to computerise our systems to some extent, so that we are able to know exactly what the levels of stock are in the various health facilities. However, as you will appreciate, this is only possible currently for the big hospitals and facilities which are connected online. Therefore, what we are doing is we are trying this year to ensure that more health facilities are going to be connected, not just online, but even in terms of power supply. Various forms of power supply will be installed in a number of health facilities countrywide.


Madam, I also want to say that we do get indications of our stock levels from the various facilities through the provincial and district health directors’ offices, except that these come monthly. Sometimes it takes a bit of time. However, let me say that we are working on the situation and we are also being assisted by the United Nations (UN) agencies like United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to improve on systems at ZAMMSA.


Madam Speaker, all I can assure Zambians, through this House, is that we are working around the clock to ensure that issues of stock outs will be things of the past because, first of all, the money we have and secondly, we are improving management at ZAMMSA, as we now have a fully-fledged board with men and women of high integrity. I have every trust in the new board that it will perform to our expectations.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kolala: Madam Speaker, while appreciating the hon. Minister’s positive response and assurances that she has given to us, I would like her to follow me and understand what is obtaining on the ground. We are burying people due to curable malaria just because we do not have Coartem, Fansidar and those other medicines that would cure malaria. She has to understand and agree with me and be able to respond to this question. I just want to understand the timeframes. How long will it take for her ministry to give us this medicine because right now as I speak, we are burying our brothers, sisters and parents because of curable malaria?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, to specifically answer the hon. Member of Parliament, I will say that after this meeting, I will check up with the facility that the hon. Member is talking about because malaria drugs are not part of the drugs where we have a shortage, as far as I am concerned. However, it is possible that there could be a health facility in the rural parts of Zambia that may have run out. All I can say is that if he can get in touch with me after this Parliament meeting, we can be able to support that particular health facility that he is talking about concerning issues of malaria. As far as I am concerned, malaria tablets are not a problem.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: So, hon. Member for Lufubu, you are encouraged to get in touch with the hon. Minister of Health to make a follow-up on this concern that you have. We should not wait until a question is brought before the House for actions to be taken. Hon. Members are encouraged to be proactive in their concerns.


Mr. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I am very thankful for the updates that the hon. Minister is giving. As the hon. Minister has heard, this is a problem that is going on almost everywhere. There is the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA), where there are immediate resources. There is also the Government, through the Treasury, which obviously comes inconsistently. Then the procurement has been moved from the Ministry of Health to the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA), which is basically under the Ministry of Health.


So, I just wanted to have a clear understanding. How is ZAMMSA going to ensure that drugs are procured on time, especially when the Treasury does not release money on time, looking at the current debt under the Ministry of Health for drugs and equipment? How is this going to happen? This is because on one side you have an institution called NHIMA, which receives money immediately because the deductions are at the point of people getting paid. So how do you reconcile these two and how is it going to be that we will not have these shortages going forward?


Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for a very important follow-up question. I thought I could just use the opportunity whilst responding to him to say that, yes, there is NHIMA and NHIMA is one of the sources for money for drugs for the Ministry of Health to be able to procure drugs, but through ZAMMSA. ZAMMSA is a new creation under Act No. 9 of 2019.


Now, there was a delay by the previous administration to move the function of procuring drugs and medical supplies that was kept in the ministry beyond time. The first thing that we had to do, which was in line with our manifesto, was that we needed to use a specialised agency away from the ministry to be responsible only for procuring medicines and medical supplies, storing those medicines and distributing them to all the health facilities in the country and hence the immediate action. However, there was no board and there had not been a board for a very long time. So, we had to look for men and women of high repute to take over ZAMMSA and help the ministry to ensure that ZAMMSA performs its functions according to the Act. The Act stipulates that the ministry should not be buying drugs. So, all we have done is to be in line with the Act, although the Act was enacted in 2019.


Now, Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has asked how things work. Medical Stores Limited (MSL) has always been doing this work. If the hon. Member remembers MSL, that is the same institution that is now called ZAMMSA. All we have done is to make it autonomous and equipment it and we have been supported by donors. If you go to ZAMMSA, you will see the infrastructure and equipment that is there as well as the computers that have been installed. This is meant to help ZAMMSA have the capacity to procure drugs and store them efficiently. The only weakness is that the staff that is there is the same staff that was in the old institution before it became ZAMMSA.


Madam Speaker, what should have happened by 2020 is that there should have been a new board that should have advertised all the positions so that officers in the old Medical Stores would have had the right to apply and the public could have also applied, ZAMSA would have employed highly qualified people to run that institution. That was not done and that is what we are trying to do now. What we are trying to do through the board is that it will advertise and everybody will re-apply so that only the best will be employed, in that case, the institution can perfume its functions well.


Madam Speaker, this Government has put money in the budget which hon. Members approved and I thank them for that. If you look at the amount in the budget, it is three times the amount the previous administration had put for drugs. So it is expected that the amount will stabilise our drug supply chain. By the way, this New Dawn Government has so far constituently released monies for procurement. So, every month monies are being released. This started happening last year, using the old budget. Remember, when I came to the House, I said that in the last ten months, the previous administration had only released money for drugs two or three times. However, since the New Dawn Government took office, they have constantly been releasing drugs.


Madam, last year, the Government even tried to release the backlog of what was there, that is why you saw that there was some stability. Even now as people are talking about the lack of drugs, it is not all the drugs that are not there; it is some. In some cases the drugs are there, except not enough to last, maybe, for three months because normally you must have enough drugs that should last you, at least, for three months and before the three months expires, you get another stock. That is how it is supposed to be. In that way, you can know that you have security in terms of drug supply.


Madam Speaker, National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) was established in order to help with more resources towards procuring drugs. If you notice, when people who are accredited or have signed up with NHIMA go to the hospital but cannot find the drug they want, they are told to get it from a chemist using the prescription given and they do not pay for the drugs. The drugs are paid for by NHIMA. At the end of the month, that pharmaceutical drug store makes a demand of that. This is why it is important that hon. Members of Parliament must encourage their people to register with NHIMA because it is helpful.


Madam, the monthly contribution is very low. For people who are not in employment but are barely surviving, they can pay less than K40, monthly. Whenever they are sick, they can access drugs and most of the services that hospitals are offering without paying money. NHIMA will pay for them. So, let us give the information to our communities, marketeers, drivers and many other people that it helps to belong to NHIMA and that when they get sick, they should not get stranded. The amount to pay is minimal, maybe, less than K500 per year and it is not for one member it is for the whole family.  It could be the hon. Member, his wife and his five children that will access services from that K500 which has been paid for one year. It is not paid in advance but monthly or quarterly, depending on one’s capacity. So, NHIMA is helpful and it has actually helped. I do not know what we would have done if NHIMA was not there. It is good for us, as a Government and the community.


Madam Speaker, the other source has been donors; the private sector. We have a very good will from the donors this time around because they trust the President and because of that they have come in full force. We just have to ensure that we put in institutions of governance such as the board, ensure that we allow them to perform according to the Act and all of us we work above board, then things will be fine. This country is a great country. Right now, it is in good hands. Hakainde Hichilema (HH) is the right guy for this country.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Masebo: What we need is to work hard to together and I would like hon. Members of Parliament to act as Ministers of Health in their constituencies. I cannot be everywhere. It is for them to help me so that we succeed together.


I thank you, Madam Speaker


Madam Speaker: I believe, with that explanation, you have even over expanded this question. It was only relating to whether the Government was aware of the critical shortage of medicine in Lufubu District and what measures have been taken. This has been adequately answered and there were even bonus answers. So we make progress.




222.  Mr E Tembo (Feira) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. when the following Schools in Feira Parliamentary Constituency will be electrified:


  1. Mangelengele Primary;


  1. Chilombwe Primary;


  1. Mandombe Primary;


  1. Chimutengo Primary;


  1. Chankasi Primary;         


  1. Kaungu B Primary;


  1. Chilukusha Primary; and


  1. Kaunga Secondary; and


     b. what the cause of the delay in electrifying the schools is.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): A scoping exercise to establish the works needed for electrification of the above mentioned schools was conducted and concluded in August 2020. The scoping exercise reviewed that the cost of electrifying all the schools in Feira Constituency which have been highlighted by the hon. Member of Parliament above is K7,670,260.48. The break down in terms of cost of electrifying each school is as follows:


            Chilombwe Primary School                K2.896,971.44;


         Mandombe Primary School                K865,991.18;


        Chankasi primary school                     K1,634,940.29;


        Chimutengo Primary School               K231,119.88;


          Kaunga Secondary School                  K284,249.57;


            Kaunga Primary School                      K811,994.06;


          Mangelengele Primary School            K931,994.06; and


         Chilukusha Primary School is already connected which brings the total to K7.6 million.


Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that ZESCO Limited has in the recent past been subsidising the cost of connections. Most of the connections have not been cost reflective resulting into a backlog of 60,000 that is yet to be connected.


The New Dawn Government wants to restructure–


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours. 


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the New Dawn Government wants to restructure the electricity sector in such a way that it protects the consumer from high prices but also ensures that there is cost reflectivity in tariffs and connection fees.


Madam Speaker, the cause of delay in electrifying the schools is that funds have not been available but the New Dawn Government through financing of the constituencies is considering that some of these schools will be financed through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Therefore, I implore the area hon. Member of Parliament to dedicate some funds from the CDF towards the electrification of these schools.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr E. Tembo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that answer except that Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has become highly loaded with a number of projects and in this vein, we could indeed consider but I think we would leave the major cost to the ministry in order to ensure that these schools are electrified. I do not know whether the hon. Minister is really saying that we should consider funding the entire K7 million from the CDF. Not that we cannot do that. We can consider using some of it. I do not know whether that responsibility is being given to us. I just need a clarification on that.


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I said some of these funds could be dedicated to the electrification of the schools, which is very important. As soon as the funds are available, all the schools will be connected as part of the 60000 connections that are outstanding.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that response. The hon. Minister is saying these schools in Feira have delayed to be electrified because ZESCO Limited is not charging cost reflective connection fees. If I remember very well, during the United Nation Independence Party (UNIP) Government, electricity connections were very exorbitant until the time the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government came into power and then lowered the connection fees. That is why the majority of Zambians had access to electricity. So, does the hon. Minister not think that maintaining these high connection fees will prevent the people of Zambia from accessing electricity? I believe that if connection fees are reasonable, ZESCO Limited is going to increase its customer base and it will have more money. Does the hon. Minister not think that this will work against ZESCO Limited and the nation in terms of accessibility to electricity?


Madam Speaker: That is an attempt to expand the question. The hon. Minister will answer only in relation to the question that is before the House.


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I cannot remember from my submissions saying that high tariffs are coming. I have said and committed to the House that all the outstanding 60,000 connections will be connected this year. ZESCO Limited has set up a dedicated directorate to ensure that all the 60,000 outstanding connections are done this year without topping up on amount the already paid.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Shakafuswa (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his responses. I want to find out, for the sake of clarity, on behalf of the people of Feira, what the current standard connection fee for new applications is?


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I do not have the actual figures and I do not think there has been any revision to the connection fees.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: That is the problem of asking questions which are open ended and do not relate to the question before the House.


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I appreciate the responses coming from the hon. Minister. The hon. Minister has consistently referred to the issue of connection fees not being cost reflective. There has been this Cost of Service Study which has been going on and the report is being awaited. Is it not premature to single out the aspect of connection fees in determining where the power utility company is making losses? Would it not be ideal that the hon. Minister waits for this Cost of Service Study Report so that he can holistically look at all the elements, including connection fees, to determine which areas the utility company has been making serious losses due to either subsidies or the lack of cost reflective fees?


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I do not think I have talked about tariff adjustments in my submission. Yes, I can confirm to the House that the report on Cost Reflective Tariffs is almost done. Once this report is handed over to my ministry, I will come to the house and make a Ministerial Statement on the matter.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, I just want to appreciate the answers being given by the hon. Minister of Energy. Since the hon. Minister has suggested that the hon. Member of Parliament for Feira can have recourse to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as a way of assisting in ameliorating this problem, are they indicating that the hon. Minister can be given concessionary rates so that we can use CDF appropriately?


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I do not think there is need to start giving concessionary rates when the old rates are still prevailing. So, that is why we are asking hon. Members to use part of their CDF because lighting of schools is an important part of the learning institutions. So, we are going to electrify all these schools before the end of the year. So, where there is an emergency, like in Feira, we are asking the hon. Member of Parliament for Feira to use some of the funds from the CDF to electrify these schools.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chibombwe (Bahati): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the calm manner in which he is responding to the questions today. The hon. Minister mentioned that the scoping of these jobs was done some two years ago, if I got him correctly. Is the ministry considering engaging private contractors to electrify schools in Feira? This is because we have seen that if we go the ZESCO Limited way, it may even take longer. So, is he considering engaging private contractors of course with the consent of ZESCO Limited to electrify the schools in Feira?


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, ZESCO Limited does sub-contract some of the works when they are overwhelmed, so Feira might not be the only case where they can sub-contract.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker. 




223. Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a direct road from Livingstone to Mulobezi; and
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to construct a direct road from Livingstone to Mulobezi as the current route using the M10 Road via Kazungula is deemed to be adequate.


The plans may be considered in the future subject to availability of funds.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.


 Mr J Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, recently, due to the heavy downpour of rains, the Zambia Railways Limited suspended the only transport that connects Mulobezi and Livingstone, and many people were affected for some time.


Madam Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister said that the Government has no immediate intentions to construct the road between Mulobezi and Livingstone. Is the hon. Minister trying to put up any measures to effectively work on the Zambia Railways Limited rail tracks to ensure that the people of Mulobezi are not cut off, as it happens, from Livingstone by having an ineffective railway line that is not going to disrupt the running of the trains between Mulobezi and Livingstone?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the existing route from Livingstone to Mulobezi, as I said, is the M10 Road which goes past Kazungula. This route will be improved once the Livingstone/Sesheke Road and the Simugoma/Mulobezi/Machile/Luampa Road have been rehabilitated and upgraded respectively.


Madam Speaker, the Livingstone to Sesheke Road and Simugoma/Mulobezi/Machile/Luampa Road have been earmarked for possible execution using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model of financing under the project for Development of the Western Trade Facilitating Routes, inclusive of settlement schemes and the border facilities, which the Government intends to undertake using PPP model of financing.


Madam Speaker, once that is done, it will provide a very secure way for the people of Mulobezi to travel from the areas of Mulobezi, which are Sichili, Kataba, Mulobezi, Machile all the way to Livingstone on a tarred road, hopefully. In addition to that, the question the hon. Member raised is also important. In one of my earlier answers when I talked about the rehabilitation of the Livingstone to Chililambombwe Railway line, it is our intention that we also consider extending that into the Mulobezi Railway line, including the bridge which, at the moment, is not functional and so all that is part of the plans of the ‘New Dawn’ Administration.   




224. Mr J. Chibuye asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:


  1. when the Government will review the current minimum wage;
  2. whether the Government has any plans to introduce a minimum wage in the mining sector; 
  3. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  4. if there are no such plans, why.


The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Ms Tambatamba): Madam Speaker, the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC), through its ad hoc committee, the Labour Advisory Committee, is mandated to review and make recommendations to the minister at least every two years, on minimum wages and conditions of employment for any of the employees.


Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that the last revision was made in December 2018, on the current General Order, Shop Keepers Order and the Domestic Workers Order. So far, there have been no proposals which have been received from our tripartite partners for consideration by the Labour Advisory Committee on the review of the current minimum wages.


Madam Speaker, plans are underway, as I have indicated before, to consult the stakeholders to consider coming up with the sector based minimum wages for the mining sector in its entirety. You may wish to note that the TCLC during its last sitting resolved to come up with the minimum wage for the mining sector.


Madam Speaker, consultations are scheduled to commence at next meeting in the week. I must report that the ministry and the social partners will be visiting some mines in a week or two to determine or assess whether there is need to promulgate minimum wages for the mining sector.


Madam Speaker, in view of the responses in (a) and (c), question (d) falls off.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr J. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, it makes good hearing to hear the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, indicating that next week the necessary organs will be sitting to start considering the minimum wage in the mining sector.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the minimum wage is supposed to be revised after every two years, and she indicated that the last one was done in 2018. I want to find out from the hon. Minister what the hurdle has been specifically tonot hold the next consultative meetings in terms of looking at the minimum wage from 2020 to date?


Madam Speaker, I also want to ask and urge the hon. Minister that as they look at the minimum wage, especially in the mining sector, that it is important that serious concern is attached to employers who have the tendency of paying their workers on any date that they feel like. In my constituency, Roan Parliamentary Constituency, Panorama Alarm Systems and Security Services (PSL) and Kobra Security do not pay their workers on time, even when they are paying them a paltry K900. What is the Government doing to ensure that as it comes up with a minimum wage, it also ensures that companies pay their workers on time just like the Government pays on time?


Madam Speaker: That is two questions in one. Therefore, you have exhausted your allocation.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, the delays are due to a number of factors and I believe, one of them is that there is so much that was happening in the past year, leading up to elections. So, with those many activities, one year elapsed before the ministry could, through its Labour Advisory Committee, institute a study that would bring about a look at the factors that should be considered when defining a review for the minimum wage.


Madam, the other issue was the budgetary constraint. However, as it is, the hon. Member should be consoled that we have hastened to ensure that the Labour Advisory Committee will be looking into starting to do the terms of reference for the study within this year so that we are able to get information that will comprehensively inform the review of the minimum wage.


As for delayed payments to employees, a habit that employers tend to have, Madam Speaker, this is one of the areas that gets addressed during labour inspections. The law is very clear; it states that workers are supposed to be paid on the last day of the month or there about. So, during our inspections, this is an area we pay attention to and our reports and instructions to such employers is always within what the law stipulates. However, we encourage employees in such companies to bring the information to our labour offices so that we take note and continue to supervise such employers. However, I should also say employees who get treated or mistreated in that manner should take advantage where they are unionised to ensure that they take such matters to their unions. That is the first point of call. They should take matters to the unions. This is the duty of their union representatives. They have to be able to negotiate and talk about this and ensure that employers are compelled to adhere to the law. It is not good to sit quietly and suffer without making use of structures that employees actually pay for.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, what criteria or parameters need to be in place for the ministry to decide whether to put in place a minimum wage for a given sector because I am shocked that mines do not have a determined minimum wage? This would be of interest even to other manufacturing industries, like our Universal Mining & Chemical Industries Limited (UMCIL) Kafue Steel Plant, so that everybody is accordingly informed.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, the factors that get considered in such a survey that informs the review of the minimum wage include economic dynamics and inflation is one those, of course. Factors also include the impact on employer’s capacity to pay within a particular sector. So, basically, most of them are economic parameters like any other survey that informs pay-outs or investment. So, that is what we look at; inflationary trends and the capability of employers to pay.


Madam, I want to make a correction or bring it to the– Vulnerability and difficulty to organise are some other factors. Domestic workers are one of such examples. They work as individuals in their employer’s facilities and so for them to organise and have a union, is one of the very difficult things to consider. So, these are matters that we take into account when putting in place or reviewing minimum wages.


Madam Speaker, I want to bring it to the attention of the hon. Member Parliament and other Members of Parliament that when we talk about the minimum wage for the mining sector, for instance, we are not saying mining companies are on a minimum wage as a whole. We are all aware that mining companies are mostly unionised and so they are able to have a voice to go for collective bargaining and come up with what the two parties agree through their unions and through collective agreements that they put in place. However, within the larger mining sector, there are contractors within the supply chain. Some of them are host-managers for camps and others offer cleaning services and many more, as hon. Members would understand. Those may not be at the same level where they can also get unionised, although some get unionised and are able to negotiate a wage for themselves considering their economic status. Therefore, there are some of those whom our stakeholders and social partners have been concerned about and are brought to our attention for us to look into their matters and probably come up with a minimum wage for other non-mining companies that are working within that industry.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, the question on the minimum wage is also inextricably linked to social justice, which is possibly championing the economics of the stomach. Having said that, in the tripartite arrangement that the hon. Minister has mentioned, we have seen defaulting employers who do not respect the minimum wage. We have also witnessed that unionism and syndicalism in Zambia have gone flat and are not working to protect the rights of workers.


Madam Speaker, in this case, what or where is the weakness? Is it in the policy framework or the legal framework that talks about the minimum wage because in the liberalised economy, the Government only plays the role of a dream facilitator and duty bearer? Where has the ministry found the weakness?


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the concerns raised by the hon. Member. The ministry has informed the nation that it will be reviewing the labour law in its entirety at some point. Those are the issues. There are many weaknesses here and there that tend to cause some of the points that the hon. Member raised as injustices. One such point would be workers not having their voices come through strongly to bring their issues to the table in order for them to be attended to. Those are some of the places we are trying to have a look at. We will do surveys and review the current labour law and at an appropriate time, we will communicate to the nation what the actual findings are after consultations with all the different stakeholders, including the worker.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mulebwa (Kafulafuta): Madam Speaker, part of my question has been addressed by the hon. Minister, but I am wondering what measures have been put in place for investors who prohibit their workers from belonging to a union? What measures have been put in place to ensure that workers’ voices have been heard and what happens where a union is compromised by the investors? We have commonly seen, lately, that unions are not what we used to know years ago.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, belonging to a union is a constitutional matter. As I will be speaking to another matter later on, the hon. Member will be informed of the particular constitutional provision that does not permit stopping an employee from belonging to a union of their choice.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




225. Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:


(a)        why the construction of the Katete Police Station has stalled;


(b)        when the project will resume;


(c)        why the contract was terminated;


(d)        whether a new contractor has been identified; and


(e)        if so, what the name of the new contractor is.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the construction of Katete Police Station has stalled because the initial contract was terminated.


Madam, the project will resume once a new contractor has been procured to complete the remaining works.


Madam, the contract was terminated because the client revised the scope of works to include houses and other facilities that were not in the contract. The revised scope of works had a variation that was above the allowable 25 per cent on a project, hence the termination.


Madam, a new contractor has not yet been identified as the client, in this case, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, is yet to give authority to procure a contractor to complete the revised scope of works.


Madam, as indicated in (b) above, a contractor has not yet been procured. The name of the new contractor will only be known once the procurement process has been concluded.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr P. Phiri: Madam Speaker, that contract was terminated somewhere in 2014, but I know the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government was not there. It has been a long time since the contract was terminated. This is 2022. When will the new contractor be identified so that the works can commence at this police station?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, we shall liaise with the client who, in this case,is the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to see if we can resolve particular issue because money has been spent on this project. The value of the contract we K1,836,000 and a sum of K504,940 has already been paid. Progress is at 13 per cent but I am sure the people of Mkaika want particular police station. The first stage is to get instruction from the client to proceed and procure a contractor.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr P. Phiri: Madam Speaker, does this project qualify if we are to use our Constituency Development Fund (CDF) looking at time? Can we use our CDF on the same project?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, yes. This is a terminated contract and looking at the amounts, it can well be handled within the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). We would only ask that quality be the determinant so that we do not end up with a low quality Katete Police Station. He can go ahead and use CDF.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.



                                           RESILIENCE IN KALABO DISTRICT      


226. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Green Economy and Environment:


(a)        what the progress on the implementation of the Pilot Project for Climate Resilience in Kalabo District is;


(b)        how many clubs benefitted from the programme, as of September, 2021;


(c)        what activities the clubs were engaged in; and


(d)        how much money was allocated to each club.



The Minister of Green Economy and Environment (Eng. Nzovu): Madam Speaker, I want to inform the House that implementation of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) Strengthening Climate Resilience in the Barotse Sub-basin (SCReBs) Project in Kalabo District was launched in 2015. Out of the 122 projects, representing 122 groups that were implemented, 109 have been successfully completed while thirteen projects are still running.


Madam Speaker, a total of 122 groups have benefited from the PPCR in Kalabo District. The groups were involved in the following adaptation activities:


  1. Infrastructure initiatives such as bridge construction, rehabilitation, irrigation schemes, livestock services centres and water supply systems all of these solar powered.
  2. Diversification of agriculture practices that are not climate sensitive into sustainable actives such as small livestock production, poultry, goat and pig rearing, crop production, vegetable gardening, winter maize and rice production as well as fish production.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member would wish to note that amounts received by individual groups varied due to the nature of the projects and there scope. For instance, seven sub-projects received approximately K300,000, five received approximately K90,000, twelve received approximately K70,000 and ninety-nine received up to K30,000. I want to state that a combined total of K6,157,857 was approved and disbursed to the 122 groups to implement their respective projects.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member may further note that the differences in costs is as a result of the sub-projects being implemented under different economic conditions, the varying number of beneficiaries as well as the varying number of components within a particular sun-project.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, I am sure the people of Kalabo are listening to what the hon. Minister is saying. We, as the people of Kalabo feel let-down by the implementation of this project because even when the hon. Minister is stating all that information, the people of Kalabo are eagerly still waiting for the implementation of this project.


Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister able to indicate these 100 clubs that he is stating and in which wards they could be located in Kalabo District.


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I wholly sympathises with the hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Miyutu, because the needs in his constituency are immense and yet the PPCR Project has, by its definition, Pilot Programmes for Climate Resilience (PPCR), is indeed a pilot project.


Madam Speaker, going forward, I can assure Hon. Miyutu, that this Government, which has expanded this project to the Northern Province, Luapula Province and Muchinga Province and it has also done a project in the Eastern Province, is looking very closely to see how it can be enhanced.


Madam Speaker, further, I inform the hon. Member of Parliament that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has already signed money to the tune of K900,000, for a similar project in the North-Western Province, Copperbelt Province and Central Province. Indeed the 100 clubs in the hon. Member’s constituency are listening and we can only assure them that an enhanced programme will be initiated.


Madam Speaker, I may not state clearly which wards but I ask that the hon. Member of Parliament to visit the office and then we can discuss more.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Simushi (Sikongo): Madam Speaker, I stand here as someone who has worked under the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) Programme as monitoring and evaluation consultant.


Madam Speaker, if there is a programme that should have helped the Western Province, at least improve in terms of its standard of living and helping of the people on the ground, is the PPCR programme.


Madam Speaker, I totally agree with the sentiments raised by Hon. Miyutu. The PPCR project has had many issues and I am sure the hon. Minister may have stumbled on some of those issues in terms of misuse, misapplication and appropriation of funds in the implementation of the programme.


Madam Speaker, as the programme is being expanded to other regions, is the Government considering conducting a forensic audit so that these issues, which I know are rife especially where projects were being given to civil servants who were forming groups to benefit, maybe can also be unearthed and disciplinary measures rendered where necessary?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, matters to do with improving resilience of our people to fight the devastation from climate change are quite emotive. I must inform the hon. Member of Parliament that these projects are implemented through the local authorities. Going forward, indeed we have seen the weakness and I can confirm with him that we have since instituted audits and they are revealing, obviously, a few irregularities in there.


Madam Speaker, remember, I also said that these projects are in the Northern Province, Muchinga Province as well as the Eastern Province. Similar issues are being discovered in there. Remember, this is a project which started about six to seven years ago. We inherited this project and indeed as a new Government we need to own it. The only thing I can do and assure you is that we will make sure that we close up all the loopholes and for the projects going forward we believe that we have come up with a better implementation strategy. We will ensure that corruption which was inherent in the initial system is rooted out.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister stating that the programme has come to an end in Kalabo or the people of Kalabo should continue waiting for the full implementation of the project in the district? All that we know is that it started in Mapungu ward. So, the rest of the wards are still waiting for the programme.


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, indeed, I can confirm, here, that this is the end of the programme. It was a pilot programme and we believe that there are many lessons that we have learnt from this project.


Madam Speaker, going forward, we are still in discussions with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Government to see how this programme which is very useful to our people is expanded.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mrs Chonya: Madam Speaker, indeed, even the people of Kafue are singing the same –


Madam Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Kafue, we are talking about Kalabo Central. If you have a particular question for Kafue Constituency, please put it in writing.


Mrs Chonya: Not at all, Madam Speaker. I was just giving a preamble to say that I agree with the sentiments expressed by the two earlier hon. Members of Parliament in terms of the challenges. I was merely confirming that even Kafue has implemented a similar project called Strengthening Climate Resilience in the Kafue sub-Basin (SCRiKA) with concerns as are being raised. However, my question is to find out from the hon. Minister how soon this forensic audit and the evaluation of the programme will be done before we even proceed with trying to expand this programme elsewhere. This is because the lessons and experience on the ground for us who have implemented this project in our respective constituencies is something to worry the hon. Minister about.


Mr Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I believe that these audits will be quite comprehensive. Moving forward, I encourage the hon. Members of Parliament, particularly for the projects being conceived now for the North-Western Province, Copperbelt Province and Central Province, to work very closely with my ministry, the implementation agencies and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning so that we come up with the mechanisms which will ensure that there are maximum benefits for our people. We need to ensure that the lessons learnt from the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) projects are used to ensure that the new projects are devoid of the various challenges.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




227. Mr Mtayachalo asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:


  1. whether the Government is aware that some media houses do not allow their employees to join labour unions of their choice;
  2. if so, whether the practice is not a violation of the employees’ rights; and
  3. if so, what measures are being taken to address the anomaly.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, the Government is not aware that some media houses do not allow their employees to join labour unions of their choice as there has been no complaint directly lodged by affected employees or through the union intending to recruit them as members. This notwithstanding, where there is such an occurrence, it is definitely a violation of the law specifically the constitutional provision under Article 21 of the republican Constitution and Section 5 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, Cap. 269 of the Laws of Zambia and the matter would have to be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the law.


Madam Speaker, even though there are no reports of such an anomaly, it should be made clear that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security undertakes regular worker/employer education where such matters are discussed. The Government through the Department of Labour engages employers and the unions intending to unionise their employees in order to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed. In addition, the Department of Labour also conducts inspections and sensitisation programmes which are aimed at ensuring that there is compliance with the law and that there is protection of fundamental rights at the work place.


Lastly, Madam Speaker, the ministry ensures that it registers all employers who employ twenty-five persons of more unionisable employees and once an employer is registered, the law makes it mandatory that the registered employer must enter into a recognition agreement with any union that has recruited twenty-five or more members.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement. I am alive to the fact that media personnel, especially in the private sector, are not allowed to join trade unions. I think it is important that the hon. Minister should take a familiarisation tour of these private media houses because media personnel actually have very pathetic conditions of service. I just want to find out from the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security whether her ministry is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Media to ensure that conditions of service for journalists are improved.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, as has been indicated, the hon. Member should understand that constitutional matters and in fact rights are not negotiable. The ministry has been hosted many times to provide information to members of the public on the Labour Law, including elements that cover their right to be unionised. We have been hosted by quite a number of radio and television (TV) stations and so this information readily available.


Madam Speaker, I can only call upon employees that are affected and aggrieved or indeed unions that have attempted to mobilise and have been stopped to report this matter to the labour office. I also say to the nation that during regular labour inspections, we will ensure that the profile of those that are visited will include a diverse range of media houses as well and we will do this in collaboration with the hon. Minister of Information and Media. I thank the hon. Member for that advice. The ministry is also considering developing a minimum wage for the media, knowing that there is now a proliferation of so many private media houses. The media is one of those that have been targeted for minimum wage consideration.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, clearly, if you look at the practice of these media houses, it is difficult for our scribes who are working for these media houses to report. The moment they report, they lose their jobs or they are threatened as the hon. Member for Chama North indicated.


Madam Speaker is the hon. Minister in a position to come and inform this House after establishing a task force team under his ministry, jointly with the Ministry of Information and Media, to go round the media houses and establish the truth then come and report back, through Madam Speaker, on the conditions of these journalists who are suffering? They are times put on a payroll of us politicians instead of working for the general citizenry.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, for us to all look at the matter and agree on the way forward, we will gladly take this initiative to the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) which we will be having next week and thereafter, we will report back.


I thank you, Madam Speaker


Mr Chisanga: Madam Speaker, in my question, I just want to find out if there has been any routine inspection by labour officers on private media houses?  If yes, what reports have been found by your ministry?


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, the ministry has been undertaking labour inspection routinely within the limitations and circumstances of budgetary conditions and this covers media houses as well.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: hon. Members, before we go to the next question, I just want to remind hon. Members that as you ask questions, make sure that you are in compliance with Standing Order 65, so that the information that you give, especially with regards to Standing Order (1)(b), is correct and factual. The issue about medicines in hospitals that was raised earlier on was not correct. So, hon. Member for Lufubu, please make sure that you verify your information before you come to the House with information because that amounts to misleading the House and the country, and raising unnecessary apprehension in the minds of the members of the public.




228. Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East) (on behalf of Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga)) asked the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to implement the Zambia-Saudi Arabia Goat Export Agreement;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. how many goats are earmarked for export, per year; and
  4. what measures have been taken to ensure that the targeted number of goats for export is met at all material times.

The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Chikote): Madam Speaker, the Zambia Saudi-Arabia Goat export agreement provides an opportunity for Zambia to export livestock products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the Government will still pursue this opportunity and still stands steadfast to implement the Zambia-Saudi Arabia Goat Export Agreement.


Madam, I also inform this House and the nation at large that in 2018, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority conducted an audit inspection on the selected abattoirs in order to assess the sanitary conditions and technical capacities that existed in Zambia. Further, the House may note that the inspections raised some sanitary issues that needed to be worked on before commencement of actual export of goats. Therefore, the Goat Export Agreement will only be implemented once all the necessary preparations and systems have been verified and approved by our Saudi Arabian counterparts.


Madam Speaker, in the current export agreement, Zambia was granted market access for the export of one million goats per year. The Government plans to commence with exporting 200,000 goats per year.


Madam Speaker, the Government has put in place programmes to increase goat production and productivity through stocking and re-stocking of goats, breeding to improve the quality of goats, sensitisation of goat producers on the availability of this lucrative market for the goats, and enhance extension services to farmers through training on good goat husbandry practices.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, the information the hon. Minister is giving actually made the citizens of Zambia excited about exporting goats to Saudi Arabia. However, it went quiet. What measures are being put in place by the hon. Minister to expedite this lucrative business?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, like I stated earlier, our counterparts who offered us this market were in the country and inspected and raised some concerns regarding the requirements and the standards that we are supposed to meet as a country. As a ministry, we are working on the few concerns that were raised. The concerns included traceability, surveillance and how we control diseases in this country. So, mechanisms to address the concerns are being put in place and I believe, any time soon, they will be coming to check on the Government or the ministry to see whether we have met the concerns which were raised during the inspections.


I thank you, Madam.


Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Minister is aware that the previous started a project of giving goats to citizens. It is most unfortunate that in places like Chienge and many other places, the goats that were given died. Is there any plan on how the Government is going to help the people of Zambian again since they lost out? From the way the hon. Minister explained, I believe it is the Government’s intention is to see to it that Zambia starts to export the 200,000 plus goats. However, looking at the number of goats that died in some places, is there any way that the Government is going to start re-stocking areas like Chienge?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, indeed, we are aware of some of the programmes of stocking and re-stocking because some of our farmers in certain areas have lost their goats. However, this programme is still ongoing hence, my saying that to enhance the production, we are continuing with the stocking and re-stocking. So, in areas where goats were provided and our farmers have lost these goats, we are going to do the re-stocking programmes. We have realised, as the New Dawn Government, that this sector has potential to change the livelihood of our people. So, the people of Chienge should be assured that the re-stocking programme is an ongoing programme.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chisanga: Madam Speaker just to confirm that even the people of Lukashya will be interested to follow this Government programme if it is implemented. Madam Speaker, my question is just to find out if the Government has undertaken any survey that has established that the goat prices in Saudi Arabia will fetch a higher and better price than any other area such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, like I have said that there are a number of issues that we are trying to look at especially with the team from Saudi Arabia because they provided such a market. We are in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to look at how we are going to actualise and realise the potential of this market. However, I want to also assure the hon. Member of Parliament that we are also taking advantage of other available markets because the programme of enhancement of these goats is not only focusing on Saudi Arabia but we are also looking at the markets in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and looking for other markets in Angola. Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, already the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde, has signed bilateral agreements of trade regimes with these other countries such as the DRC which the hon. Member mentioned.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minster if the Government through the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has put up a timeframe in which to resolve the issues that were raised by the delegation from Saudi Arabia so that the farmers in Zambia can start benefiting from this lucrative business.


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, yes, the issue of timeframe is based on the time our colleagues come to verify the other issues that they raised. So, as soon as our counterpart from Saudi Arabia comes to verify the concerns which they raised and asked us to work on and satisfied, the people of Zambia will be given updates on the Saudi Arabia market.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




229. Ms Nakaponda (Isoka) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to tar the Sansamwenje/Mzoche/Kanyala Road in Isoka Parliamentary Constituency;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. if there are no such plans, why.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to upgrade to bituminous standard the Sansamwenje/Mzoche/Kanyala Road in Isoka Parliamentary Constituency due to funding challenges in the road sector.


Madam Speaker, the plans to upgrade the road may be considered in future once the funding situation improves.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, the Sansamwenje/Mzoche/Kanyala Road is the road that leads to the Eastern part of Isoka and borders with Malawi. I have to mention that the Government of Malawi has tarred the road on their side and even covered a kilometre into Zambia and it is a very important economic road. Is the hon. Minister in a position to indicate how near ‘this future’ might be because we believe, Madam Speaker, that the New Dawn Government is fixing the economy and the financial challenges might soon be a thing of the past. We are looking forward to that. How near is ‘this future’ so that the people of Sansamwenje, Mzoche and Isoka can be anticipating the road to be tarred?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, by way of answering the important question from the hon. Member for Chama South on how near the future is, I will give out a bit of supplementary information. The Government initially planned to upgrade the road to bituminous standard under two contracts:


  1. upgrading and re-alignment of the Nakonde/Kanyala Road, which was Lot 1 on the M14; and
  2. upgrading and re-alignment of the Nakonde/Kanyala/Sansamwenje Road, which was Lot 2 on RD69.


Madam, however, the contract for Lot 1 was signed and the works commenced while the one for Lot 2 did not commence owing to cash flow challenges.


Furthermore, Madam Speaker, the contract for Lot 1 was later re-scoped by the previous administration from bituminous to an all weather gravel road, again, due to funding challenges.


Madam Speaker, the section covered under Lot 2 will be rehabilitated to an all weather gravel road under the Improved Rural Connectivity Project with the support from the World Bank.


Madam Speaker, I have been on that road, though not in the life of this Parliament but I think it was during the Eleventh National Assembly, right up to Kanyala and went into Malawi and was received by the commissioner then. At the time, I was Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee. It is an important road because it goes through a very remote and difficult area. The road then was in a very bad condition and the reports I have received when I went through Isoka and Nakonde indicate that the road has worsened. So, we shall deal with this particular road under the Improved Rural Connectivity Project. The other one, we have to wait until the financial situation has improved and we have resources to undertake those roads.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I must commend the hon. Minister for the information he has shared and for appreciating the importance of that road. Like my colleague from Chama has stated, this is a corridor which can improve connectivity even beyond borders of Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi.


Madam Speaker, I have heard the hon. Minister talking about the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. We did some works, like he stated, realising the importance of that connectivity. We know how viable that road can be economically. Is there a possibility that he can consider PPP initiative and get a few investors who can be interested?  


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, in terms of PPP’s, there are two routes that we follow. One of them is what we call unsolicited bids. Part of this discussion, even here on the Floor of this House, I think goes nationwide, is to invite the hon. Members for Shiwang’andu, Isoka, Chama South and anybody else who is interested. If not for them, because they probably do not have resources for that, I think this is a serious matter if they are aware of any investor or contractor who may be interested not only for this road, but for any other road in Zambia to encourage those people to come through to my ministry and the Road Development Agency (RDA) so that they can put in the unsolicited bid. I can assure this House and the hon. Member that we shall look into those unsolicited bids very seriously.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Order!








The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1222 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 1st March, 2022.